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Types of aircrafts used to fight wildfires

Two of the biggest aircrafts we talk about on NewsWatch 12 are helicopters and air tankers

Posted: Aug 1, 2019 6:55 PM

MEDFORD, Ore-- There are multiple types of aircrafts that help fight wildfires. We are going to focus on the two we talk about a lot on NewsWatch 12. Those are helicopters and air tankers.

Air tankers are the big air crafts. They look like commercial airplanes. These carry thousands of gallons of fire retardant. Fire retardant is dropped next to fire to stop it from spreading or to contain the fire. It's the red material you see fall out of these tankers. It can last for a few days. 

There are different types of helicopters, based on the size of it. Helicopters are used to drop water on top of the fire. Depending on the wildfire, the helicopters will fill up the buckets of water in a nearby river, lake or body of water. They can also fill up at a tanker base. The water drops have a different purpose compared to the fire retardant.

"It would go directly to the flames. To try to knock the fire down or put it out." said Justin Hohannah. He is the manager at the US Forest Service Air Tanker Base.

The last update we received about the Milepost 97 wildfire on Thursday said more than 15 aircrafts were being used. On the Milepost 97's Facebook page it posted a photo of a helicopter with the caption "great example of how accurately a helicopter can douse the flames."

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